Thursday, September 19, 2019

Power: Clapton's Blues Power

purchase [ Eric Clapton ] first solo album

IMHO, Clapton's first solo album stands above most of his other solo work. It was a break-out production - away from Cream and a first step towards his "god" status. Clapton supported himself with friends new [to us] (Bonnie and Delaney ) and old (Steven Stills, Leon Russell ). His sound was considerably more mellow and more mature than is earlier raw/raucous Cream and equally raw John Mayall fare. In addition to being primarily self-composed.

The <Eric Clapton>/solo album includes more than one piece that I would place in my pantheon of top rock songs:
-the no-vocals <Slunky>
-the cover of <After Midnight>, bringing (not for the only time) J. J. Cale to a larger audience
-<Bottle of Red Wine> [see this]
but more generally, this was a different kind of rock guitar for that day and age. Along with- but on a different planet from Jimi - the style "bent" our perceptions of electric guitar rock.

But, for the purpose of the <Power> theme, there's only one from that album that seems to fit: Blues Power. Co-written by Leon Russell.

I wonder if the song is really blues. Clapton hints at my doubts in the lyrics:
"Bet you didn't think I knew how to rock and roll...."
But the lyrics also include:
" matter if it's fast or slow"

I've scoured the Internet in search of an answer: "Must a blues song be slow"? I always assumed as much. There's also the question of the sound/environment: even if the tempo is right, if the guitar is too raucous, can the song still fit the "blues" bill? Doesn't it have to "cry"? I don't have the answer. But this song has the power.

Something a little different with the same name: (Albert King)

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